Comment of the Week: Do I Have To Pay for That, Too?

This week’s comment comes from GF regular SupremeAllah, responding to the news that, yes, even PC gamers would have to pay for a new Crysis 2 map pack.

Wait…hold on…slow down…hit the brakes…back the truck up…

Are PC users expected to pay 10 dollars as well? Do I have to explode into a COD-like rant?

Yep, the times they are a-changin’. I own a magic rectangle that plays games and movies, and you, the PC gamer, have to pay for map packs sometimes. What is the world coming to, dadgummit?

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4 Comments on Comment of the Week: Do I Have To Pay for That, Too?

Shyfty

On June 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I think there is a little more to it there Phil. It’s less about having to pay for it, and more the consistently changing dynamic of the platform. It ‘s about what we used to get, and no longer get, for an ever increasing price point.

Used to be that they didn’t give us maps, but at least gave us the tools to make our own, and keep the title relevant (you know, something like a little title called Counter Strike). Now many developers are taking the tools, removing the dedicated servers, and releasing game piecemeal with DLC as a core strategy, as opposed to Expansion packs.

Tell me, do you think we are getting the same quality of content we received 5 years ago?

SupremeAllah

On June 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Well, I feel honored!

And to expand on the point(s) made by Shyfty:

Mentioning how devs are releasing DLC, how many times have we already heard, or felt in some cases, that DLC that we receive should have been included in the original release? You know, sometimes certain elements of DLC had been just ripped from the game, just for the sake of selling it to us later.

It would be like buying a new car, and before you get the car from the dealer, they remove the sunroof and radio and tell you that you have to pay more for those later, even though they were in the car to begin with.

What’s worse? Releasing an incomplete game, only to have “paid patches” to bring you all the content? Or, having a complete game, but before its release having the devs remove parts of it, just to sell it later without actually having to create new content. (Though I never cared for the games, one of the last Assassin’s Creed games was guilty of this)

Another issue, though it might just be due to the complexity of current games and their game tools, or lack of skilled PC modders and such, but years ago, any PC game you purchased was usually backed by an insanely large modding community. Rainbow 6, Quake 2, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life and all the mods based upon it…any of these games you could go look up and find a mod for anything and everything. Hundreds of thousands of skin packs for weapons, models, everything. Sound packs, graphic changes, mutators (unreal) and maps! Buying a game back then meant you’d be able to play it 70,000 different ways thanks to the modding community. A single copy of Half-Life back then, allowed you free access to totally different games than Half-Life, such as Counter-Strike, Firearms, Cold Ice, Jailbreak, Team Fortress, Frontline Force…the list goes on!

But look at the last five years or maybe back a little farther. Unreal 2007 or Unreal Tournament 3 or whatever they called it had all the same tools yet there are barely any mods or skins out there for it.

That may be just one example, but there are others, and I think it leads to the point where I’d say that some of the most talented PC folks of those days are either just gone, or no longer care because they can’t get the attention they used to get. And who could blame them? Who wants to put together a team and create a mod that maybe ten people will download and play? To bring it back to the somewhat modern, Source-based mods like Fistful of Frags and the long awaited Firearms: Source are perfect examples of how great things used to be, yet neither game has a large player-base, and its a damn shame.

There are many places blame can be placed for why we stand where we stand today as far as this goes. And as much as I hate to say it, the consumer is a lot to blame. Sure, you can blame companies like Activision, for half-assing Call of Duty games with Madden-like yearly releases where nothing changes and still selling a boatload plus multiple DLC packs, but if you wanted to teach those greedy, lazy bastards a lesson, it would be to not buy their half-assed attempt at putting out something new (haha, new they say) nor purchase any of their absurdly priced DLC.

Remember, maps used to be free. Now you get four maps for roughly three bucks per? Feh. Oh, and back to that Crysis 2 DLC, someone needs to tell Crytek that a Smoke Grenade does NOT count as a weapon!

Phil Owen

On June 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Well said.

Steve

On June 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I’ve noticed this day and age that fewer and fewer game reviewers stress how much they think a game is worth to them. I feel this should be mandatory for any game review. That goes for DLC too.

There are some games that, no matter how much quality and effort was put into it, they are just not worth their full price. This, to me, is a greater metric than any silly numeric point scale that tries to convince me to buy it otherwise.

If reviewers simply state “This game would be a recommended buy after a few free DLC packs are thrown in there…”, then it might give developers incentive to follow suit in an attempt to spark interest.

But I guess if you’ve already suckered people into buying your overpriced title, why bother, right?